By Rev. Jonathan Rose
This video is a part of the Spirit and Life Bible Study series, whose purpose is to look at the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible through a Swedenborgian lens.
Title: Forgetting and Remembering
Summary: The Lord wants us to be aware of the dark nature of our lower self so that we'll be more cooperative with him and receptive to his heavenly blessings.
Use the reference links below to follow along in the Bible as you watch.
Genesis 41:9, 51-52
Jeremiah 14:10; 31:31-34; 44:9-10
Ezekiel 18:20-24; 20:40-43; 21:23-24; 36:29-32
Spirit and Life Bible Study broadcast from 1/18/2017. The complete series is available at: www.spiritandlifebiblestudy.com
774. "Every kind of thyine wood, 1
every kind of ivory vessel." This symbolically means that these Roman Catholics no longer have these because they do not have any of the natural goods and truths to which such things correspond.
This statement is similar to the ones explained in nos. 772 and 773 above, the only difference being that the valuables named first mean spiritual goods and truths (as explained in no. 772 above), and that those named second mean celestial goods and truths (as explained just above in no. 773), while those named now - thyine wood and ivory vessel - mean natural goods and truths.
 To explain: There are three degrees of wisdom and love, and so three degrees of truth and goodness. We call the first degree celestial, the second spiritual, and the third natural. These three degrees are present from birth in every person, and they are present in general also in heaven and in the church. Because of this there are three heavens, a highest one, an intermediate one, and a lowest one, altogether distinct from each other in accordance with these degrees. The same is true of the Lord's church on earth. But this is not the place to explain the nature of the church with people in the celestial degree, with people in the spiritual degree, and with people in the natural degree. See instead what we said about them in Angelic Wisdom Regarding Divine Love and Wisdom, Part Three, where we dealt with degrees. Here we will say only that in the case of people coming from Babylon, they have no spiritual goods and truths, no celestial goods and truths, and not even any natural goods and truths.
Spiritual goods and truths are mentioned first, because many of those coming from Babylon can be spiritual, provided they hold the Word holy at heart, as they do with the mouth. But they cannot become celestial, because they do not turn to the Lord, but turn to people living and dead and worship them. It is for this reason that celestial goods and truths are mentioned second.
 Thyine wood symbolizes natural good because wood in the Word symbolizes goodness, and stone truth, and thyine wood derives its name from a word meaning two, and the number two also symbolizes goodness.
The good symbolized is natural good, because wood is not a valuable material like gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet. The same is true of stone. The case is similar with ivory, which symbolizes natural truth. Ivory symbolizes natural truth because it is white and can be polished, and because it protrudes from the mouth of an elephant and also constitutes its might. In order for ivory to symbolize the natural truth of the goodness symbolized by thyine wood, the text specifies a vessel of ivory, as a vessel symbolizes something that contains, here truth that contains good.
 That wood symbolizes goodness can be seen to some extent from the following considerations: That the bitter waters at Marah were made sweet by casting in something wooden (Exodus 15:25). That the tables of stone on which the Law was written were placed in an ark made of acacia wood (Exodus 25:10-16). That the Temple in Jerusalem was roofed with wood and paneled inside with wood (1 Kings 6:9, 15). And that the altar in the wilderness was made of wood (Exodus 27:1, 6).
It can be seen to some extent also from the following:
...the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the wood answers it. (Habakkuk 2:11)
They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise..., and they will cast your stones and your timber... into the midst of the sea. (Ezekiel 26:12)
The prophet Ezekiel was told to take a piece of wood and write on it the names of Judah and the children of Israel, and also on another piece of wood the names of Joseph and Ephraim; and that the Lord Jehovih would make them into one piece of wood (Ezekiel 37:16, 19).
We drink our water in exchange for silver, and our wood comes at a price. (Lamentations 5:4)
If someone goes with his neighbor into a forest..., and the ax head (falls) from the wooden handle...(onto) his neighbor so that he dies, he shall flee to (a city of refuge). (Deuteronomy 19:5)
The latter is said because wood symbolizes goodness, and so because the person did not kill his neighbor out of evil or with evil intention, therefore, but by accident, being impelled by good. And so on elsewhere.
 In an opposite sense, however, wood symbolizes something evil or cursed. So for example, they made graven images out of wood and worshiped them (Deuteronomy 4:23-28; Isaiah 37:19; 40:20; Jeremiah 10:3, 8; Ezekiel 20:32). Also, being hanged from a tree was a curse (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
That ivory symbolizes natural truth can be seen moreover from passages which mention ivory, such as Ezekiel 27:6, 15; Amos 3:15; 6:4; Psalms 45:8.
1. Thyine wood has not been identified. It has been associated with citron wood, and also with scented wood in general.